Celebrating More Than Summer!

Shirk Family

Last night we enjoyed a family dinner together at our place to celebrate several birthdays and anniversaries. Everyone was there but Nathan and Christie in Florida and Hector in Peru. We slaughtered the fatted calf and enjoyed steaks on the grill, corn on the cob and root beer floats. It was a great time.

The extra special component to the evening was celebrating that 30 years ago on August 2, 1987, we moved to Batavia! God has been incredibly good to us throughout these privileged years of pastoring here at Grace. What I am especially thankful for is that it’s never gotten old – I’m just as motivated and excited about what God is doing here as I’ve ever been. Not sure if I have another 30 years in me, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord will continue to do as we serve Him with everything we’ve got for as long as we are able.

Pastor Shirk

Operation Arctic Off To A Chilly Start!

Monday evening our church was transformed into a frozen tundra as a host of children came out for a great first night of VBS! We so appreciate the many volunteers who made the evening a great success! Please be praying that the Lord will use this week in a powerful way to plant the seeds of the gospel into the lives of the children in attendance.

Below is a picture of Pastor Corey leading our workers in a time of prayer before things began and then one of the worship team leading some enthusiastic singing!

Church Directory Update


Would you like to update your picture in the church directory or perhaps you were not available the last time the Lifetouch photographers were here? We are updating our directory! Photographers will be here, one day only, on May 23 from 2 pm – 9 pm.

Click on the link above to schedule your appointment or call the church office Tuesday – Friday @ 585-343-0729


A Great Weekend of “Almost There!”

It was a full weekend and a full house as we celebrated the Christmas season with our live nativity and musical presentation of “Almost There” with a 70 voice choir! I want to give a special word of appreciation to all the choir members who began practicing this music in September and for Kathy Meloon and Martha Woodruff for their administrative effort that was needed to make this happen. Dale Choate was a narrator second to none and John and Hayley Baker sang the solos of Joseph and Mary impeccably. The message came through loud and clear due to the great work of our sound technicians Paul Meloon and Colin Cassidy. Thank you to all who served in putting together the nativity from set-up to tear-down and everything in between from shepherds to angels and even a real donkey! A special thank you goes to Joe Gassaway and his team of parkers and greeters who did a fantastic job getting people into the building with some challenging icy conditions.
Most importantly, God was glorified not only in the three presentations, but in you, our church family taking advantage of the opportunity to invite people to hear this gospel presentation. Each ministry performance had many guests. While I had the distinct privilege to meet several of them; I had meaningful conversations with some who are still searching in their spiritual journey and are planning to return. We do this to be a blessing to our community and I simply wish to say thank you to our church family for catching this vision!  Enjoy these pictures that capture highlights of this special weekend of purposeful ministry!

From my study…


It is beautiful stereo. In my left ear are the melodic notes of Vivaldi. In my right ear is the sweet drone of the excavator finishing demolition of the house out front! Monday, in an hour and a half, a long-standing obstacle to our public visibility was gone. Yesterday I was at the site talking to the equipment operators. One man asked, “When did you build that new part to your church? I’ve lived in Batavia all my life and never knew this was here!”

Monday evening we had over 1,600 guests show up for Trunk or Treat, many of whom never saw our property before! WOW! It was an incredible evening. Having the house down just opened things up in a fresh and exciting way. Seeing the enthusiasm of all those who participated and helped from our church family was a huge blessing.

This Sunday is Friendship Sunday. Let’s be in much prayer that “obstacles” to faith in Christ be broken down and removed. As Pastor Corey challenged us last Sunday evening, pray that we as a church family will “image God” before our guests for His glory.

Enjoy a few pictures of what’s happened this week outside my study window.


img_6617 img_6648 img_6660 img_6693 img_2603 img_2588

The Partnership of Parents

Two weeks ago we enjoyed a special Parent Dedication service that highlighted several of our families who are serious about their essential role as parents. It was a great time that culminated with prayers of dedication. What was especially moving in that Sunday’s group of parents is that half of them are families committed to the calling of adoption and foster care. Several other families in our church are also actively engaged in this great work that models the heartbeat of our Savior.
Tomorrow we look forward to the ministry of Bill and Kathy Brittain from Baptist Children’s Home of Valparasio, Indiana. It is a ministry that ministers to over 900 orphaned, needy and disadvantaged children throughout the world (United States, India, Myanmar, Liberia and Nepal). We’re looking forward to their challenge! Enjoy these pictures from our Parent Dedication Day.
parent-dedication-1 parent-dedication-2 parent-dedication-3 parent-dedication-5 parent-dedication-6 parent-dedication-7

Sunday School & ABF Adjustments

We’re praising God for breaking our Sunday School attendance record by 40 this past Sunday!

Every room was jam-packed.  Thank you for being flexible, durable and heat-resistant.  The trustees are in the process of addressing the HVAC needs of each ABF room.

Growth is a good problem, and we’re finding ways to be creative to accommodate the folks the Lord has blessed us with.  Jesus once attracted a crowd so large at someone’s house that a paralytic’s friends couldn’t get through the door, so they hoisted him onto the roof and lowered him down to Jesus!  You won’t need to be so unconventional getting into an ABF at Grace.

Because of the crowded conditions a couple changes are in order:

  1. Mark Woodruff’s Forgotten God ABF will relocate to the auditorium.  That’s the best venue for our largest class using a DVD-based curriculum.  Mark’s ABF had 60 people squeezed into their room on Sunday!
  2. Mike Johnson’s Living in the Real ABF will relocate to the Patch room just one door down to accommodate their needs.
  3.  The 4th and 5th grade class will relocate to Pastor Shirk’s old office (southeast corner).
  4. Pastor Jeff will begin the following ABF this Sunday in the gray room where Mike’s class was on Sunday:

The Gospel Journey. New to the Bible? Would you like to know God’s Word better? This class will span one year and move quickly through an overview of the entire Bible. In interactive fashion, we will identify key themes and doctrines that bring clarity and life to our faith.


The Gospel Journey begins here!


See you Sunday!